One of the world’s most unique bridges is hidden in a sleepy suburb of Bilbao, Spain in the heart of the Basque Country. Crossing the Nervion River, the Bizkaia Bridge was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006.
So, why is this bridge so special?
In 1893, architect Antonio Palacios designed a bridge that would cross the Nervion, linking the towns of Getxo and Portugalete. Located on opposite sides of the river, it would save residents of the two closely-interdependent towns from having to take a boat or a long route to get to the other side.
Palacios was a protege of Gustave Eiffel, so it’s not surprising that the idea he had was revolutionary. Instead of constructing a simple bridge, Palacios designed a bridge that contains a top level for pedestrians and a bottom level that utilizes a gondola to transport cars and other methods of transportation.
The unique design and method of transportation that the Bizkaia Bridge utilizes has worked for the past 127 years, and still transports cars and people from one side of the other to this day. For a small fee, you can climb to the top of the bridge and walk from Getxo to Portugalete.
Be sure to see the Bizkaia Bridge if you ever find yourself in the Basque Country!